Reel Reviews

Film Reviews by a Real Person, Not a Critic

The Breakfast Club

Title: The Breakfast Club
Year: 1985
Director: John Hughes
Starring Cast: Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy
Rated: R

Reel Reviews Rating:

When you hear the Simple Minds’ song, “Don’t You Forget About Me,” what immediately comes to mind?

That’s right. The Breakfast Club.

Another brilliant, classic John Hughes film.

Like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club has a very simple plot. Five teenagers reluctantly spend their Saturday serving detention. Also, like Ferris Bueller, The Breakfast Club has a lot of great, funny and quotable lines.However, unlike Ferris Bueller, this film is more serious.

In my opinion, the main message of the film is that people are not always what they seem to be. Everyone has problems that can’t easily be understood by others. The 5 protagonists represent stereotypical characters in high school- a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Each one has their own prejudices about ther others. When these characters are placed in a room together, they at first express the personalities expected of them. The “criminal” John (Judd Nelson) acts like a complete jerk to everyone; the “athlete” Andrew (Emilio Estevez) immediately hates John and sticks close to the “princess” Claire (Molly Ringwald). However, they soon learn that they have a lot more in common than they thought.

What’s great about this film is that it gave a deep, honest look at teenagers. They weren’t just these oversexed, bubbleheaded morons nor were they innocent angels. They cussed and swore, and were angry at their parents. My own parents never liked this movie because the teenagers blamed their problems on the parents. DUH. Doesn’t EVERY teenager feel that way?

In spite of the seriousness of the movie, there are many lighthearted and funny moments, and hilarious lines. Take this exchange between Claire and John, for example:

Claire: What’s your name?

John: What’s yours?

Claire: Claire.

John: Claire?

Claire: Claire. It’s a family name.

John: Oh, it’s a fat girl’s name.

Claire: Oh, thank you.

John: You’re welcome.

Claire: I’m not fat.

John: Well not at present, but I can see you really pushing maximum density. See I’m not sure if you know this, but there are two kinds of fat people: there’s fat people that were born to be fat, and there’s fat people that were once thin but became fat… so when you look at ’em you can sorta see that thin person inside. You see, you’re gonna get married, you’re gonna squeeze out a few puppies and then, ooop…OOOOP….

The Breakfast Club appeals to so many people because we all were teenagers at one time. We remember what it was like to feel neglected by our parents, to feel that no one understands how we really feel or what we’re going through. We remember forcing to put on a face every day at school, to act in a way that’s expected of us. We remember the prejudices and intolerance we held towards other students because they were “not like us” or “uncool”, or because they were “poseurs”. We have all known at least one person who was either a brain, an athlete, a basketcase, a princess, or a criminal. Hell, some of us have BEEN at least one of those.


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December 21, 2005 - Posted by | Comedy, Drama, John Hughes films

5 Comments »

  1. I asked for it on DVD for Christmas!

    Comment by ChrisKalani | December 22, 2005 | Reply

  2. yep, an all time favorite!

    Comment by beth | December 30, 2005 | Reply

  3. Best movie ever.

    Comment by JJ | December 31, 2005 | Reply

  4. It’s so rare to come across a teen movie that’s as sincere as this one. I’d love to see more movies like this instead of some of those teen movies that are being churned out today.

    Comment by Brooke | January 7, 2006 | Reply

  5. Chris- Did you get the John Hughes box set?

    beth- I couldn’t agree more.

    JJ- ditto!

    Brooke- Exactly. Nowadays all you have are these dumb teen movies that mostly involve getting laid, with these stereotyped characters. The Breakfast Club took those stereotypes and turned them on their heads.

    Comment by Toni | January 7, 2006 | Reply


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